Building an Irresistible World

 

Today I’m featuring, Irresistible World Building by Janeen Ippolito. It’s a writing craft book, about how to make your fictional world more than just window dressing in your stories.

 To showcase this new resource, author Janeen Ippolito had the idea to ask bloggers questions about the worlds they are writing.

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World Building for my Work In Progress:

Working title: The Steampunk Prince

Working Blurb: Jay may be a prince in hiding but he wants nothing more than to hop on an airship an leave his little nation to rot. If only he didn’t have a condition that keeps him within the borders of his mountain locked country.

When rumors surface that there maybe a cure for his condition, will Jay choose to run, or fight for the throne that is his birthright?

1)Name your spec fic subgenre!

 Science Fiction > Steampunk

 2)Why this subgenre? What makes it awesome?

 I love science fiction. But I’m also an old fashioned girl. I like vintage stuff. Steampunk is a combination of these two things. Also the plot needed an airship.

 3)What are your favorite books in your subgenre?

 Despite deciding to write in it I am still new to the Steampunk genre. But the Leviathian trilogy by Scott Westerfeld was my first foray into the genre. Recently I have enjoyed the Soul Chronicles series by Morgan Busse.

 4)How is your world building just as cool as in these books—if not cooler?

 One of the hallmarks of Steampunk is cool gadgets. Another is pseudo-sciencey stuff. I have both.

 5)What is fresh and different about your world building that hasn’t been done before?

 My Pseudo science is aethergen. It’s a gas that is safe to breath, but it can also be condensed and burned as a fuel. When exposed to ray of a specific wavelength it will become unstable and explode.

 6)How does your world building explain something that you’ve never understood?

 I love the steampunk aethetic of putting gears on everything. But it isn’t really practical. 

 Victorica is a factory economy. There are lots of spare parts left over from the mass production of mechanical devices. Add to that the Lord Regent’s poor negotiating skills, results in more exports than imports. People have to make do with what they have. Gears become buttons and belt buckles. A discarded piston may become a replacement leg for a chair.

 7)What universal feelings do you explore in your world building—and why?

 Feeling trapped in a life you can’t control. Being told your dreams are pointless.

 Jay can’t leave his country — ever. His body is dependent on aethergen, without it his blood would stop absorbing oxygen.

 He can never live his dream of flying airships, because aethergen is heavy and will not make it to high altitudes.

 8)What cool superpowers does your character have related to your world building?

 The condition that keeps Jay grounded, was originally meant to create super soldiers. It was a success at first, but after generations, Jay has maybe just slightly faster reflexes than the next guy, and maybe he can lift a little more than average without straining.

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 9)Tell us about an aspect of your world that causes problems for your characters. Any dangerous weather patterns or geographical complications?

 Jay can’t fly, but he can’t walk away either. Victorica is surrounded by mountains. Only one mountain pass is open, and that is tightly controlled by the government. The River exits the mountains over a huge water fall and even if you can use an airship, there are storms that make flying out treacherous.

 10)Are there any cultural or racial tensions? What are they?

 Victorica started as a Prison colony. Kind of like Australia. So the population is pretty diverse. But rather than have racial tensions, it’s based on whether your ancestors were criminals or part of the settlers who came when the country was established. And that is still mostly an upper class thing. If you are stuck working in the factories, you don’t have time to worry about that.

 11)If you could take any part of your world building and make it into a giveaway item, what would it be?

 I have actually been thinking about this. There are these cute corked vials that I was thinking of filling with slime and calling condensed aethergen. Careful they might explode. That and gear jewelry.

 12)How is your character special/significant in your world building? Note that this doesn’t have to be a good kind of special!

 Jay isn’t just trapped in a life he hates. He’s the lost Prince. He doesn’t want to rule, but really he’s afraid that if he fought for the throne and won, he still couldn’t change anything. His super solider ancestors became rulers through strength, it’s a legacy that he’s not proud of. The royal family is everything that’s wrong with his country. Jay does not want to be a part of it.

 13)What about your world building messes up your main character’s life?

Well you know about the dependence on aethergen already. The second thing that gets to him is the government mandated work program. Victorica is a small country with no room to expand. There is no room for welfare. Everyone is assigned to a factory to work at after they finish school, that is unless you can test into a career field and be able to afford the tuition for university. Or be lucky enough to have someone offer you an apprenticeship.

14)What was the first thing that inspired your world building?

 Most people feel trapped by finances, but some people can’t even leave their homes because it would kill them. I took this and said, what if it was a country. The rest kind of snowballed from there.

15)Tell us about a historical event in your world which impacts the events of the story.

 The country of Victorica began as a place for the world to dump it’s prisoners. Then they tried to use these people as slave labor for mining camps and factories. The Third generation prisoners rose up and fought back. The Nation of Avenir sent in troops to suppress the uprising. Their Super soldier performed well and when they found that he had become dependent on the aethergen contained in the country, they made him a King to keep him happy so he would control the people for them.

 16)Describe a food your protagonist enjoys in your world—and one he/she hates.

 Jay loves sky biscuits, these are very filling and shelf stable. Basically Airship rations for long voyages. I based them on sea biscuits, but sky biscuits are loaded with herbs or spices because altitude messes with your sense of taste.

 Jay hates bland foods. Especially potatoes. True you an do a lot with them but he can’t stand the gritty texture.

17)What languages do the characters in your story speak? Do you have a conlang? Share a bit about it!

 English is the only language. It makes translation work easier. I’m not kidding. Every country on my made up planet speaks English. Am I just that lazy, or do I have a super secret spoilery reason for it? Only time will tell.

18)Tell us about a worldbuilding element you’re proud of even if it doesn’t make it much into the story itself.

 Dr. Carbuncle is a Willy Wonka type character. His candy and snack cakes pop up a lot throughout the story. I wanted to add an inside joke element and maybe make people wonder a bit. Also there is a lot of science being used for evil in the book. I want to remind people that science is still fun too.

Irresistible World Building CoverWrite stories with worlds that create lifelong fans and fandoms!

Irresistible World Building for Unforgettable Stories contains key methods and tips on how to weave your world building into every aspect of your story, from theme to plot to character arcs. 

-Use writing prompts and exercises to jumpstart your creativity
-Get ideas on how to refresh world building genre tropes while still hitting reader sweet spots
-Learn to embrace your inner geek and passions to connect your world building with readers

Vivid world building is great. Vivid world building that sells? Even better!

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Irresistible-World-Building-Unforgettable-Stories-ebook/dp/B07BYP99DS

 Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39776107-irresistible-world-building-for-unforgettable-stories

Author Bio Pic for Uploads - FictionJaneen Ippolito is two authors for the price of one! She creates writing resources and writes urban fantasy and steampunk. She’s also an experienced teacher, editor, author coach, and the editor in chief of Uncommon Universes Press. In her spare time, she enjoys sword-fighting, reading, food, and making brownie batter. She believes that words transform worlds and that everyone has the ability to tell their story. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica. This extroverted writer loves getting connected, so find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and at her website: janeenippolito.com

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Navigating the skies of Steam Punk

Last November I announced my NaNoWriMo novel. I may have mentioned that it was a steampunk story world. Some of you are probably wondering what that means. (Apparently there are many ways to define steampunk.)

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I used to think you can just type Airship and instantly turn any story into a steampunk one. No each steampunk story is unique. Some even have intricate magic systems.

Though it isn’t really steam punk without at least one airship, and Goggles. Goggles are a must. My personal philosophy is the three Gs of steampunk: Gears, Goggles and Grit. Yes Grit, because burning coal tends to make everything dirty.

As a fiction genre steampunk comes across as the mutant offspring of: Historical fiction, Science fiction and Fantasy.

Some advocate for the strict adherence to historical technology. (Do not have your Victorian dandy fire a ray gun.) One author said that steampunk must be an alternate version of our history. ( That means no made up worlds.) Another camp seems to see steampunk as only dealing with Steam power. (Makes sense, but very limiting.) The last camp is an anything goes super-genre mash-up that only requires a pair of goggles and a jolly good time to tell a story. That’s my camp.

 

This visual aesthetic, made up of vintage Victorian designs with industrial embellishments. (Keys, coins, gears, and gauges, to name a few.) Is what I love about steampunk.

This aesthetic is part of what I want to capture in my world building.

As soon as I realized that the rules didn’t matter a new world of ideas opened up to me. I saw a world with gears sown on in place of buttons and where teenagers wore goggles on their heads. I knew that airships were the only way to travel and that keys could be used to accent a hat. The entire story world formed in my head because I figured out the only way this aesthetic could evolve naturally from a culture starting from a Victorian baseline.

See it had to feel authentic to the world otherwise I was just riffing off the current trend.

How would you incorporate such a design choice?